something that everyone, both inside and outside the industry would do well to know and remember. This is all that has ever made anyone's career in the business. An actor's talent only ever augmented their career once these two factors were first put in place.
That's interesting about your own spin coming after you get the part. I never thought of it along those lines, but it makes sense. Presently you’re performing in two plays, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Ruined.” Do you consider yourself primarily a stage or screen actor? Where are you most comfortable?
Actually, the Production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" has concluded. "Ruined" runs until April 30th for anyone who might still like to try and catch it.
My bad. Sorry about that.
When a student gets up in front of a class to do his work in acting school, he/she is working in front of a live audience. I suppose there are schools that teach on-camera skills primarily, but generally, I think we all come out of school being stage actors. When we begin to book gigs in film and TV we rather quickly begin to learn the skills required to do it well. That's how it happened with me. Which is not to say that I was a particularly good stage actor before acquiring some skills that were essential for television; skills having to do with doing less and trusting that the correct emotion was present and active within me without my having to do anything but stand there. I wouldn't have been a good Tyr if I hadn't learned this first, and am also better for it in the role that I currently perform.
I think it's pretty disingenuous of actors when posed with the question of theatre versus film to wax all romantic about the stage when everyone knows that the comparison between the two mediums is the difference between almost never making a living, and making more money than 98% of people in the world. Once we get honest about that, and about the truth that anyone, given the opportunity to make a very comfortable living in television or film, would not say, "I'd really just rather make three hundred bucks a week off off Broadway," then we can talk about how television and film are mediums for directors, and editors, and directors of photography. These three trades in collaboration can make an on-screen performance with very little from the actor.
Stage, on the other hand, is where an actor has to be at least a little bit good at what he does. I personally am challenged by both mediums. I'm never comfortable in any of it. I'm just not that sort of actor. It's all work, and anything I do contributes the betterment of my skills, and to the expanding of that body of work. I'm grateful for all of it. I've yet to consider myself really good at any of it.
Ok, I have to mention your film “Eyes Beyond Seeing.” You play a modern day mental patient who claims to be Jesus, and who ends up helping his psychiatrist to recover his faith. This was an amazingly gutsy role, and the kind of thing that would have been so easy to blow so badly in so many different ways. The entire production just entirely stands or falls on your ability to convey some reasonable doubt about the protagonist not simply being crazy. Doubly difficult since everyone has their own concept of what Jesus should be like. I’m sure most of our readers will find the entire concept pretty offensive, but, wow, you pulled it off so easily. Some of your scenes were almost beatific. What was it like working on a production like that? That was also Henny Youngman’s last film, wasn’t it?
Let's start with the last question first. Yes, I believe it was Henny Youngman's last film, bless him. "Eyes Beyond Seeing" was one of those strange adventures that, in the many years since its making, has taken on a life of its own, developing a cult following in outposts all over the world. I'm very humbled by that, and never know quite what to say about it. Its cult success does speak to people's hunger for spiritual growth and awareness, and has continued to fascinate me.
You know, I think it's a safe acting lesson to say that all